Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

This Bar stuff is pretty boring. I can see why most of the classmates I've talked to recently want to kill themselves.

In retrospect, I should have done this differently.

I should have signed up to take the South Dakota bar exam (pass rate ~95%) instead of the New York test (pass rate ~64%). I'm guessing I can do better than 5% of the people who take the bar exam in South Dakota, even if I can't do better than 35% of the people who take the bar exam in New York. If I was actually going to practice law, obviously this would be a dumb plan. But since I'm not, at least for now, this would have been a smarter idea. Actually, studying more for the one I'm taking might have been a smarter idea. Or not taking any Bar Exam at all might have been a smarter idea. But if we're limited to two ideas -- South Dakota bar exam or New York bar exam -- I think I didn't choose the smarter one.

If I took the South Dakota exam and passed, I could say I'm a licensed lawyer, and then just change the subject. No one's ever going to ask where I'm licensed, and who cares anyway. This way I could have gotten a nice vacation out of it, maybe visited Mount Rushmore....

Instead, I'm going to Pier 90 on 50th street and 12th avenue. I hope it's air conditioned, although I have a hunch it won't be. (And with that, I've just sent dozens of people into a panic. Sorry.)

In case anyone else will be at Pier 90, look for me in Seat 1734. I'll be the one with the gallon-size clear plastic food storage type bag containing my admission ticket, a government-issued photo ID, my wallet, tissues, pens, number two pencils, a beverage in a plastic container or juice box, a quiet snack/lunch, and perhaps some hygiene products, if I can figure out what the heck they're talking about.

Someone at Ziploc was asleep on the job, it seems. They're missing a real sponsorship chance here. They could have had their name on the Bar ticket. It's a perfect opportunity. Picture it. Ziploc: the exclusive authorized clear plastic food storage type bag of the 2005 Bar Exam. They could have required it. "I'm sorry, but your generic plastic food storage type bag is not permitted in the exam. Please deposit it, along with your quiet snack and your hygiene products, into the official trash bin of the 2005 Bar Exam. Welcome." At least 1734 people would have bought Ziploc bags, assuming I'm in the last seat in the room. I'm guessing I'm not.

A few things to address on the list of permitted items.

1. Medications. It doesn't say Prescription medications specifically, so I don't know where they draw the line. I assume Tylenol is okay. I assume Sudafed would be fine. But what about performance-enhancing drugs? Are they legal on the Bar exam? Can I bring the Ritalin I stole from a fourth-grader to help me focus better? What about the cocaine from the guy on 50th street and 12th avenue, since I think that's the kind of retail that area specializes in? Is cocaine a "quiet snack"?

2. Quiet snack/lunch. How quiet? Who's to say what's quiet? Are we limited to gummi bears and yogurt? Or would a grilled cheese sandwich be okay? What if it's grilled lightly so the bread really isn't that crispy? What about that Asian fruit that supposedly smells like rotting cheese but tastes good? Durian, I think. That might bother my fellow test takers, but it's probably quiet. Am I allowed to bring a quiet snack that's distracting to my fellow test takers? Puffed rice are pretty quiet, but if I start throwing them at people, they can be kind of annoying. What about curry? Is curry quiet enough? I'm retarded, sorry.

3. Hygiene products. Someone told me they mean tampons, but they're not very explicit about it. Can I bring a couple of q-tips and clean my ears in the middle of the exam? Is that allowed? How about my own 2-ply toilet paper, in case the bathroom has that generic sandpapery kind? A couple of bandaids in case of an accident with the pencil? A toothbrush? How about shampoo? These are all hygiene products, after all. Some dental floss? A hair dryer. It says the snack has to be quiet, not the hygiene products.

4. They don't say anything about keys. I need my keys or I can't get back into my apartment. Seriously, it says nothing about keys. I don't know what they expect us to do with our keys. (And with that, I've again just sent dozens of people into a panic. Sorry.)

I haven't studied enough to legitimately pass this thing. If I do end up passing, it will be mostly luck, and possibly thanks to whatever quiet snack I choose to bring (lawyers can be quiet, right? can I bring a quiet lawyer?). If I don't, well, South Dakota gives the exam again in February. :)